Every answer from the community is a success. Every “thank you very much, you are beautiful person” is a success, it’s melting heart. People are so good to each other, helping each other. The project is growing, our team is growing, at the moment we have 9 people working in the core team, sitting in Berlin. I think it’s a success. And we have some NGOs which twitted about us and it’s also a success. There are so many small things, which shows people appreciate what we are doing and find it helpful.
Q2: What is the biggest challenge for you now?
To pay our rent… I think at the moment it’s the most challenging, because it’s not the core thing of what we are doing but we need to pay our rent as well. It’s a little bit annoying, that we have to take care of that instead of working on the community the all week. We have to care how can we finance it. There are a lot of ways but they are so slow. There are a lot of things we have to wait for and I have to pay my rent this month as well…
Q3: What advice do you have for yourself in this situation?
People and time. At the moment is going quite well, we are growing constantly. We are planning offline community events. We started online and it’s nice but I think people need to meet in person. There are so many people who matched by speaking on the online platform. Things like “I can go with you to check flats” etc. There are a lot of people answering hundreds of questions. And those who ask want to meet and say: it’s amazing what you are doing. That’s something refugees ask for, they want to meet people, practice German, get to know others.
Would you like to add something more?
The name “Wefugees” comes from we are all refugees or welcome refugees. It’s about being together, doesn’t matter where we are from. The problem we have in Germany and all around Europe is about information. Most of people coming to Germany have exactly the same questions. How do I get a flat, how does my asylum procedure work, how can I find a job. All the time the same questions and volunteers as well as help desks answer that questions over and over again. But for some questions they also don’t know the answer. Where is the kindergarten? What can I do with my kids? Are there places where we can go which don’t cost so much? Your neighbor can answer very easily, but if you go to a help desks they often have no idea. We started an online community, it’s working all over Germany at the moment. People ask questions, and as there are many at the same time, we can give categories and moderate this community. There are hundreds of people asking questions every day. Refugees helping refugees, because they faced the same problem three months before. A lot of Germans who don’t have enough time to go volunteering in refugee camps but they can easily answer a few questions. We are connecting people together. Building the platform, but at the same time the atmosphere that you are welcomed in the society. We started last year in November with the idea. We had a big problem with many thousands refugees coming at the same time to Germany, Germany was completely overwhelmed. Especially in Berlin, there was one place where they had to register. It was really cold, and they had to wait days and weeks, it was terrible. I wanted to do at least something. They were standing there without knowing anything. We started to talk with them, we invited them for dinner or coffee to listen to their stories. It was hard. Also we discussed about their needs, their biggest challenges. And one of them was always: I have so many questions, who should I ask?
The questions were asked on our behalf by Anna and Andrea from How to (ex) change the world.
Berlin, Germany, 18th June 2016